The summary goes .. I did it!!
We got up at 4am on Sunday morning to get ready. My eyes were open at least 30 seconds and I started to feel the nerves in the pit of my stomach! Before that I did notice a hunger pain .. Although I was seemingly hungry I still had to force my breakfast down over the butterflies crowding my belly!
We headed off to the start line in the cold and dark. Joining us were a few other runners, all rugging up trying to stay warm before the start. Our plan was to meet some friends at McDonalds which would allow us to stay warm for a bit longer.
About 15 minutes before the start we headed to the start line. Us and the other 8,900 people who registered to run the Gold Coast Half Marathon! To describe the feeling, it's like a swarm of people all heading in the same direction. Most of us shivering, jumping or moving in some way to keep warm! Finding our place between the thousands of people, there is a subdued sort of buzzing combined with the smell of liniment.
The starting gun goes off and we all sprint off .. well, not really .. the elite runners did but we just kind of stood in place until the crowd in front started moving. It took about one minute before we crossed the start line, jostling for our position among the weekend warriors!
My strategy .. go it alone and get into my own zone as soon as I can. Which can be hard when there are thousands of other runners trying to do the same thing. Most importantly, I didn't want to do what everyone else did .. sprint off at the start at a pace I wasn't going to maintain. For this reason, my first 1km was kinda slow, but I'm glad of that.
The first 3km were run with the street lights making sure I didn't trip over any cracks, or other people's feet. The sun started to rise and I started to get into a comfortable rythym.
Some parts of the course were pretty narrow and I got fairly cosy with those running ( or shuffling ) beside me. I even learned that one guy had recently completed a fun run in Goondiwindi and he felt a bit lonely on that run!
The kilometres were not passing fast but I slowly passed each marker, happy with my pace. I caught up with the 2:20 pace balloon guy, maybe I hadn't seen him in the dark but I know that I am not running THAT slow! I even heard someone complain that he was going too fast!
Around 7km, I thought I could feel my hamstrings starting to get tight. Keep running and mental note to self .. stretch hamstrings at the end of the run.
It was around the 9km point that I see hubby passing me. He has gone around the turn around and is on his way home .. he is breezing along by the way. I heard after about all the dogs that he saw on the way .. apparently there was a dalmation, several border collies, a yap yap dog and a german shepard. Geez, whose got time to count the freakin' dogs!!!
The 10km mark and I'm under an hour so I'm happy. Let's see if I can maintain this pace.
13 - 14km and I started to feel all those niggles. My foot is feeling a bit sore everytime I land on it .. oh wait, that's going to happen for the next 8km so deal with it girlfriend! Hip flexors are tightening up and my shoulders and neck are getting tense .. RELAX! Only a few kms to go till I get to 15km and I only have 5km to go. The last 1km to take it up to 21km is just an adrenaline run with so many people cheering along the course and I get to see the kids just before the finish line!
I made it past 15km. Coming up to 16km mark I knew I had to pick up the pace a little bit. I'm talking to myself the whole way of course! I'm going to pick up the pace, but I'm going to do it slowly so I don't pass out or blow up in the finishers chute. I can do this, I've done it before.
17 - 18km ... it's nearly all over!! How cool is that! I've done it again .. yay me! I was even starting to think about next year and how without any training interruptions I'm going to be so much stronger again! And the sunrise over the broadwater ... it's just gorgeous! This is why I do this!
I'm not streaking along, but I've picked up the pace and I've even passed a couple of people. Maybe I left too much fuel in the tank? There's the 20km mark .. giddy up girl, less than 6 minutes and I can have a rest!
|The hardware ...|